Friends and Neighbors,
Week 3 of the 2017 Legislative Session is in the books! A total of 50 bills have passed through the legislature while committee agendas and reading calendars continue to be filled with more bills. Public Lands continue to be one of the biggest issues facing the legislature this session. Senate Majority Whip – Stuart Adams, recently wrote a great article describing why he supports the resolution to rescind Bears Ears National Monument. [http://www.senatesite.com/2017/why-i-support-hcr11/]
Each year during the Utah Legislative session, the federal delegation is invited to speak to the Utah Senate and give a report on their activities in Washington D.C. This week, we were honored to hear from Congressman Chris, Jason Chaffetz, and Rob Bishop. Congressman Stewart spoke about the need for greater civility and graciousness in our discourse. Congressman Chaffetz reported on his recent conversation with President Trump and his efforts on various reforms including the postal service and the tax code. Congressman Bishop focused on federalism and the “Article One Project.” Continue reading Letter from Senator Hinkins
February 21, 2017
Recently, I was able to attend Rural County Day on the Hill. Governor Herbert, Lt Governor Cox, Representative Albrecht, and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development addressed us. There was also a bit of Q&A for each.
In the Governor’s recent State of the State address, he said he wants to add 25,000 jobs to rural Utah. The Governors Rural Partnership Board put together the map to the left (click for a pdf) of how one job in rural Utah compares to a job on the Wasatch Front. For 1 job in Emery County, it is estimated to about 50 jobs on the Wasatch Front. That is quite significant. I told the Governor that rural Utah needs the infrastructure that the Wasatch front takes for granted in order to be able to develop and diversify our economies. I told him we have rail, highway, power, but fiber optic broadband; what we are missing in parts or our county is natural gas. The public utility rules and statutes need to change for them to be able to expand and provide money to operate and maintain the infrastructure. We’ll see where it goes.
Another aspect of this Day on the Hill was a presentation of Health Equity that expanded their business to Carbon county. I have heard that they have approximately 40 people from Emery County working there.
Carbon, Emery and USU-E at the Rural Day on the Hill
Lt Governor Cox
Continue reading Commissioners Report 2-21-17
The Forest Service has announced their plan to widen 67 miles of trails to 60″. The core of which will be the Arapeen Trail System.
Click the image for a hi-res pdf of the map to check it out.
February 7, 2017
The State legislature is in full swing. Senator Hinkins sent out a letter that you can read here on some of the bills that he is watching. Some that I am watching are:
- SB 139 – Oppose: Limits school district participation to a maximum of 50% in a CRA (Community Reinvestment Area)
- SB 142 – Oppose: Eliminates school district participation in tax increment financing by removing tax revenue collected under the basic local levy
- HB 207 – Watching: While I support the idea of federalism and following the 10th Amendment that powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. I am not sure what the $350,000 is going to do to help this. Yes on federalism, no to the fiscal note.
Continue reading Commissioners Report 2-7-17
Friends and Neighbors,
Week 2 of the 2017 Legislative Session is in the books! A total of 11 bills have passed through the entire legislature but committee agendas and reading calendars are filling up with bills in a hurry.
We had some exciting events happen on the floor this week. We witnessed the proposal of Senator Henderson’s intern (she said yes). Senator Anderegg read an emotional citation honoring the Search and Rescue Dog Handlers that participated in the effort to find his missing niece – Annie Schmidt and bring closure to his family. ( https://goo.gl/5JL0ed ) Senator Henderson sponsored a resolution honoring a true American hero and Utahn, Gail Halvorsen.
My bill (SB171) , which designates Native American Rock Art as our official State Work of Art, has advanced through committee and will now be heard on the Senate Floor.
I’m also sponsoring a resolution (SCR03) asking the Department of Energy to adequately fund the Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Project . In 2000, Congress passed the Floyd D. Spence National Defense Authorization Act of 2001 which required the United States Department of Energy (DOE) “to establish a remedial action program and stabilize, dispose of, and control uranium mill tailings and other contaminated material at the Moab, Utah, uranium ore processing site and associated properties in the vicinity”. Last year, approximately $38 Million was appropriated but that appropriation is $7 Million dollars short of the $45 Million the project is estimated to require. This bill passed unanimously out of committee. Listen to the hearing here. This bill has passed the Senate and now awaits consideration in the House.
Continue reading Letter from Senator Hinkins
Less of an Op-Ed, more of a Fact-Editorial.
On September 1, 2015, there was an Editor’s Note in the Emery County Progress that gave a short history of EMS in the county, along with a list of concerns and a list of possible solutions. It also noted that there had been a severe decline in EMTs in the county, trainings were few to nonexistent, and that there were holes in the on-call schedule.
The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) had a rule that stated paid-volunteers over a certain amount of hours were considered full-time employees and were required to be offered insurance or pay a penalty. With the variableness of hours of on-call time the Commission felt that it was not a good use of the taxpayer’s money to pay these penalties, and we had a deadline on when those penalties were to be implemented.
With these concerns in mind, the Commissioners focused on finding a solution. Continue reading Emery County EMS Op-Ed
I recently attended a meeting regarding pipeline safety. When I think of pipeline safety I usually think of gas lines, but there are water lines, electric lines, telecommunications, sewer, reclaimed water, etc.
We also think that calling 811 is for large projects but it’s even for digging for fence posts, a mailbox or even a tree. The service is free, just call a couple of days before you do any digging. You can call or go online at bluestakes.org to set up a ticket. When you do the utilities will be alerted and they should be out within 48 hours to mark if there is their utility running along your property. If you do hit, damage, cut or punture a line call 911 as soon as possible. Stay safe.
Below is a color code for things that might come up that is in the ground.
In our county when we think of mining we think coal. It’s only right that we do. Coal lights, powers and heats our homes and businesses.
In this issue of Mining Focus I was reminded of all the other good things that come from mining. There were two articles, one that focused on Thanksgiving and the other on Christmas and I wanted to summarize and share some of the information that they had.
From the Thanksgiving article it said that we should be thankful to mining for providing:
- Wiring in our home providing electricity.
- Metal used to build appliances in kitchen
- Metal ductwork in homes
- Nails, drywall, cement driveways.
Continue reading Mining
Jordan Leonard, the Economic Development Director for the county, is doing a good job working grow and expand local businesses and working to bring in other businesses to diversify the economy in the county. Below is a press release that he just put out on what he has been working on.
Economic vitality for Emery County.
When we talk about economic development there a few things that we work on in our office. If we focus on the following areas, we will have a bright future for 2017 and beyond:
- Support Entrepreneurs
- Support Local Business First
- Retain and Grow Local Business
- Help Start New Businesses
- Downtown Revitalization
- Support Agriculture
- Visitor Amenities
- Rural and Geotourism
Continue reading Economic Development
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope you all had an enjoyable Thanksgiving!
I am very grateful that you have given me the privilege to continue serving as a State Senator and I appreciate your support.
This month we came together once again at the Capitol for our final Interim meetings before the next General Session. Here are a few of the highlights:
HB 4001 Solid Waste Amendments
In the last General Session, the Legislature passed a Solid Waste Amendments bill that clarified a couple definitions of terms. However, the EPA opposed the bill after it passed and so the governor vetoed the bill, but promised to bring it back in a Special Session, if a compromise could be reached. The bill that was brought back to the Senate for consideration excludes facilities that process scrap metal from the definition of “Solid Waste Management Facility”. The bill passed both chambers and will now return to the Governor for his signature. Continue reading Letter from Senator Hinkins